Jennifer performed a private-ish show at the Colosseum inside Caesars Palace on Wednesday night. The concert featured some of her biggest hits over her lengthy career, as well as several classic covers. She never once mentioned the event on her social media channels preceding the show, though she did promote her HBO special, "Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again," which aired on NYE.
"Jennifer Lopez: Sing Again" doesn't have the same appeal.
Several thousand (probably drunk) people piled into the venue (with open bar) around 10 p.m. for the exclusive, one-night-only performance to ring in the new year. The audience, mostly high-rollers, industry peeps and her die-hards who shelled out $175 for a ticket, enjoyed 90-minutes of ass-shaking, hair flipping, semi-live singing magic. Was the audience in attendance JLo's demographic? Absolutely not. But that wasn't the purpose of her NYE extravaganza. If anything, JLo's show was more for JLo than it was for the spectators. She officially cranked out her first Vegas concert without a hitch, and that in itself is a major feat, no less amid the craziness of New Year's Eve in the wildest city on Earth.
The spotlight lit up at half passed 10. There she was, glimmering in a white sequined leotard and boots, gyrating and air humping in all her fabulous glory: Jennifer Lopez. JENNIFER FREAKING LOPEZ! Seeing her for the first time in real life, I questioned whether she was a beautiful mirage I imagined, or if the open bar perk had taken its toll. She opened up with her latest single, "Booty," sans Pitbull or Iggy Azalea.
My New Year's Resolution is to have an ass like JLo. And to drink more water. But more importantly: ass like JLo.
The high-rollers up front remained seated, setting the precedent we shall glue our booty to the chair for most of the show. She said:
“Is this the high roller section? We need you people up!”
Whether the audience's low energy took a toll on Lopez's performance or not is hard to say - she strutted and stomped through to "Love Don't Cost A Thing" and "Get Right" with a fierce intensity and focus.
JLo danced her way into another set of hits thanks to choreographer Frank Gatson Jr., artistic director of Jubliee (one of the longest running shows on the strip). Gatson's vision is evident during "If You Had My Love," truly embracing her inner Las Vegas showgirl with the help of 16 backup dancers from his show.
Soon after, JLo stripped off her feathers, revealing a sparkly belly baring something-or-other for "I'm Into You" and "Waiting For Tonight." Paramedics reportedly rushed to the venue after nearly a dozen women injured themselves running down the escalator straight for the gym.
After performing another string of originals, including "Ain't It Funny," "All I Have" and "Jenny From The Block," Jenny from the block slowed things down with "Let It Be Me," a ballad off her latest album "A.K.A."
Her sound guy better get a raise, because it seems homegirl relied heavily on playback to get through most of the show - understandable considering the intense dancing performed throughout, but the slow song appears to be entirely lip synched as well.
Lip synching here is understandable:
But here though?
Because I'm a Britney Spears stan, I remain unfazed. Note: do not come for me.
Continuing to slow things down, JLo flawlessly knocked out her latest lead single, "First Love," before covering Toni Braxton's "Un-break My Heart" and Marvin Gaye's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Sure, I thought the latter was a random choice, but it proved to be one of my favorites from the show. Lopez stepped off the stage to be one with the people for the song, a convincing attempt to show the audience she's just like you and me, only with way better hair and skin. She walked through the aisle encouraging those around her to participate by singing the classic into the mic. Instead, her peasants opted for selfies. At one point, she chose a 50-something Asian high-roller to help sing along, but was met with utter confusion and drunkeness; he had no idea what the words were, forcing the diva to lend her vocal talents, proving she really can sing live.
Another quick outfit change, this time a black sequined (obviously) pantsuit and fedora, and a few more originals including "Let's Get Loud."
By now, the wine from dinner and the vodka sodas at the open bar have done its job... and just in time! JLo threw a 60-second countdown to midnight on the big screen behind her as she sang "Hold It Don't Drop It" and finally, "Live It Up," the last song of the night and the perfect mantra for 2015.
It was a beautiful performance of recognizable boppers appealing to JLo's wide-range fanbase. Her presence in Las Vegas will surely attract the younger generations to come to town and spend money much like Britney's Piece of Me does and continues to do. She has a confidence about her that's unprecedented; a balancing act of sexy and sultry by a talented pop veteran who's only one of a handful of superstar musicians that can command a stage of this magnitude.
Jennifer Lopez got her feet wet, and she's sure to make a splash in 2015.